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Seth Rollins vs Dean Ambrose


@JoeyStyles: There is just too much mutual animosity between these former Shield teammates for this match not to end in a double count-out, double disqualification or even a no-contest if they get their hands on each other before the opening bell rings. Seth Rollins vs. Dean Ambrose is a very personal issue that needs to see these two locked in a steel cage so they can unleash their animalistic attacks in unfettered fashion. Until such time, no clear cut winner will emerge victorious. Winner: n/a

@HowardFinkel: I’m looking forward to seeing this match. These two know each other very well — perhaps too well. Yet, for me, I will give the nod to Ambrose, strictly because I truly believe that he wants Rollins more than Seth wants him. It’s that simple. WINNER: Dean Ambrose

Ryan Murphy: Is it strange that I’m concerned for Seth Rollins’ wellbeing? Sure, he’s sleazy, but he’s young and über talented and I hate the thought that Dean Ambrose is going to take five years off his career with the beating he gives him at WWE Battleground. That being said, Rollins asked for this. And if you poke a pit bull with a stick, you better be ready to get bit. WINNER: Dean Ambrose

James Wortman: Oh, man. How good is this going to be? This confrontation won’t be for the faint of heart, with The Lunatic Fringe embracing his more hardcore tendencies since ditching his tactical gear. Even though Ambrose suffered a debilitating backstage attack on Raw, the brawler seems to use his pain as a power source. Dirty Deeds await Rollins, who, despite his alignment with The Authority, won’t be able to match the ferocity of his former brother. WINNER: Dean Ambrose

John Clapp: In this likely “Match of the Night” contender, I fully anticipate an unhinged Ambrose, injured or not, redlining his engine and throwing caution to the wind from the word “go.” It’d be impossible for Rollins to not get flustered, but he’s called The Architect for a reason. The man’s a strategist, and by hook or by crook, he’s walking away with the win. WINNER: Seth Rollins

Dean Ambrose: 3, Seth Rollins: 1

WWE.COM: When did you first hear about Kenta?

SETH ROLLINS: I learned about Kenta in 2004 or 2005 when I first started breaking into the wrestling business. I caught some tapes of him in Japan wrestling for Noah against Marufuji and thought to myself, “That guy kicks harder than any human being I’ve ever seen in my life and I don’t know how anyone is getting up.”

WWE.COM: What are some of your favorite Kenta matches?

ROLLINS: Any match against Marufuji. They had an extended rivalry. Also, Kenta vs. Daniel Bryan in Ring of Honor [at Glory by Honor V in 2006] is one of my favorite matches of all time.

WWE.COM: What was the first time you met him, and what was it like to meet him?

ROLLINS: I met him at a Ring of Honor show we were both on. Very intimidating, but in the end, just a quiet, soft-spoken, very humble Japanese fellow.

WWE.COM: What does the signing of Kenta mean for the landscape of WWE and the roster in general to have an established Japanese star?

ROLLINS: It’s been quite some time since WWE has really went out of its way to sign an established Japanese star. If you look at his resume, not just in Japan, but worldwide, it’s a coup for the company. He’s a legitimate, bona fide global wrestling phenomenon, and I’m looking forward to having him on the roster.

WWE.COM: Who would you like to see Kenta wrestle in WWE?

ROLLINS: I wouldn’t mind locking horns with him one more time. I would love to see him get in the ring with Cesaro. I think he would have a really interesting match with Sheamus. I would love to see how someone like Randy Orton might combat him. I think it’ll be really interesting just to see how he gels with the locker room.

WWE.COM: Do you think he’ll need to adapt his style in WWE?

ROLLINS: Anybody that’s ever come here has had to adapt their style in some way, shape or form. You’ve gotta find a medium between what brought you to the dance and what’s gonna get you to the top. I hope Kenta is able to — and I’m sure he will be able to — find that in-between. Overall, I hope he doesn’t change too much. He’s super talented, and I just want to see him succeed and do well.

WWE.COM: What is Kenta’s potential to succeed here?

ROLLINS: The sky’s the limit for him. He’s got unlimited potential based on his skill set. He’s not the prototypical WWE Superstar. He’s not Hulk Hogan and he’s not John Cena, but he has a certain charisma about him that’s completely different than what anybody else has in the company right now. He’s got an opportunity to bring a different style to the game in an era when MMA is very prominent. Guys his size who hit as hard as he does are very popular and can connect with an audience.

WWE.COM: You teamed with him in a match in 2009. What was that like?

ROLLINS: Teaming with Kenta was awesome, just because that meant I didn’t have to get kicked by him. He had a rivalry with [Katsuhiko] Nakajima and I had a rivalry with Austin Aries, so we were paired together by circumstance. We gelled very well as a tag team and won that match, due in no small part to how awesome he was and how willing he was to incorporate my style into his. We had a really good time.

WWE.COM: What was it like to wrestle him later that year in Chicago?

ROLLINS: There was no rivalry going into that match. It was just one of those dream matches that Ring of Honor was very famous for putting on. His style was completely unlike anything I was used to. His speed and ferocity were unmatched at that point in his career. I just wanted to do my best to survive and I came out of it relatively unscathed. I had lots of bumps and bruises, had the wind knocked out of me on multiple occasions, but I survived, and I thought we had a pretty good match. I had a helluva time, but it was one of those deals where when you’re in the ring with him, it’s more about survival than it is about winning.

WWE.COM: Do you prefer teaming with him or competing against him?

ROLLINS: I’m a glutton for punishment. I liked wrestling against him rather than teaming with him. I like anybody that can bring out the best in me or showcase a side of me that I’m unfamiliar with, and he definitely did that. He took me to a place mentally and physically where I had never been before. I had to take a lot of blows. Not that I’m not used to that, but I’m telling you, his kicks are lethal. I enjoyed wrestling him before and I’m hoping to do it again.

Seth Rollins’ favorite opponent is Daniel Bryan


“Daniel Bryan is my favorite. I don’t know why. It might be because we have similar backgrounds, styles and approach, but every time I’ve ever gotten in the ring with him — from my early days to now — there’s always some sort of crazy electricity that seems to spark between us. It’s one of those things that you can’t really explain, and you don’t need to try. He pushes me beyond my limits. He takes all the things I’m good at physically, mentally and emotionally, and we push each other.

“The singles match we had on Raw was probably my favorite one with him that I’ve had in WWE. The matches in Ring of Honor, we had a little more time and the matches were a little different. My favorite one was in Detroit at a show called New Horizons where I powerbombed him into the turnbuckle and the top buckle broke. It was really crazy. It was one of those moments that no one saw coming and you can’t recreate it. It was terrifying, but if you were there live, you’ll literally never forget it.”


WWE Hall of Famer @HowardFinkel: I submit my prediction based on the uncertainty of Bad News Barrett’s injury status at press time. This might be considered as an upset pick, but I’m selecting Kofi Kingston to walk out with the contract Sunday. I’m basing this on stamina, agility and endurance — three of Kofi’s greatest traits that, to me, will have him shock the WWE Universe. WINNER: Kofi Kingston

@JoeyStyles: Seth Rollins asked Triple H to allow Ambrose into the match so he could face Dean Ambrose head-on, but I don’t buy The Authority’s charade. Ladder Matches have no disqualifications, so there is nothing stopping Triple H from sending Ambrose crashing and burning, while Rollins claims the golden ticket that is the Money in the Bank Contract. Rollins has WWE management behind him, and that can be the difference between being WWE World Heavyweight Champion and being just another name in the “WWE Encyclopedia.” WINNER: Seth Rollins

Jake Grate: With all due respect to the competitors in the WWE World Heavyweight Championship Ladder Match, I am looking even more forward to this Contract Ladder Match, which boasts a bevy of WWE’s top high-flyers. Although all eyes will be on the captivating Rollins, his former Shield “brother,” Ambrose, will be the one to claim the priceless World Title opportunity. WINNER: Dean Ambrose

Bobby Melok: This Ladder Match features a group of Superstars willing to risk anything to have a guaranteed title opportunity, but Dolph Ziggler stands out from the pack as the one that most needs a big win. The Showoff hasn’t been the same since losing the World Heavyweight Title (at last year’s Money in the Bank event, ironically). That, and his willingness to risk it all, makes Ziggler the man to watch Sunday night. WINNER: Dolph Ziggler

John Clapp: Hubris might have gotten the best of Seth Rollins. The Architect might insist he needs Ambrose to be in his sightlines Sunday, but his demand for The Lunatic Fringe to be added to the match will be his undoing. Ambrose is a vindictive wild card who cares little about his own body. I’m not convinced he cares about the opportunity that comes with winning the contract, either, but I’m positive he’ll stop at nothing to deprive Rollins of said opportunity. WINNER: Dean Ambrose

Dean Ambrose: 2, Kofi Kingston: 1, Seth Rollins: 1, Dolph Ziggler: 1


Seth Rollins vs. Nigel McGuinness — ROH World Championship Match: Take No Prisoners 2008

“The match that changed my life was me versus Nigel McGuinness, my first shot at the Ring of Honor World Title. It was in Philadelphia, Pa., at the National Guard Armory. Nigel was a world-traveled, top-of-the-line, first-class professional wrestler. I was 21 years old and really had no idea what I was doing. I had just broken into Ring of Honor. I hadn’t quite been established yet. At that point, I had been there for maybe six months, and Nigel took this guy who had just gotten started, but had a bit of a following, and made him a star in one match.

“It was a huge educational process for me, just learning the beauty and the art form of what we do. It doesn’t necessarily have to be hero versus villain, but it was about a young, hungry up-and-comer against a veteran who’s the standard of a company. Feeling the momentum of that match, from the beginning until the very end, was something I’ll never forget.

“When I came out of it, I had such a greater understanding of what professional wrestling could really do to an audience. To be a part of that is something that is fairly indescribable. You can’t compare it to just seeing it.” — SETH ROLLINS

Location: Neck


“In fall 2009, I’d been having trouble with my neck for maybe a year or a year and a half. I just had terrible mobility in my neck region. It was inhibiting my workouts, inhibiting my work … I just couldn’t take it anymore. I had to do something about that, so I went to the doctor’s and had a couple of MRIs. I wanted a procedure that was minimally invasive, and wasn’t going to put me out for a long time, and I found a doctor who was able to go into the back of my neck and basically just carve out some of the bone, doing what they call a foraminotomy. The foramen is this little hole that the nerve slides up through in your spinal column.”

“The surgeon basically widened the foramen and was able to alleviate many of the symptoms. I’m wholly functional and everything’s good. But it left a nasty scar because he told me not be active for a few weeks until it healed up. And, of course, I didn’t listen to him, so the scar opened back up and they had to sew it together again. That was (four) almost (five) years ago now, so I feel like I’ve got a new lease on life somewhat.”